June 19 2013 Latest news:
Simon Bull, London24 editor
Saturday, July 14, 2012
A business venture to turn more than 20 disused London Underground stations into visitor attractions has been described as a "brilliant plan" by Mayor Boris Johnson.
Through his Old London Underground Company, entrepreneur Ajit Chambers wants to bring the abandoned 'ghost' stops on the network back into public use.
Parties, weddings and corporate events could be held in the former Tube stations, with proposals to convert tunnels, shafts and above-ground buildings into restaurants, cafes, bars, nightclubs, gyms, galleries and museums.
It was reported earlier this year that Brompton Road station in south-west London could be the first to be transformed into a new venue.
Mr Chambers thinks his plans for the disused stations could benefit London’s economy.
He said: "A couple of years ago I realised we had a huge asset, which was underground space in London and that we had the world's oldest underground system.
"So I started work and we found that we could make these into tourist attractions and bring some money into the capital."
There are still many legal and logistical hurdles to overcome, and Mr Chambers has been having talks with the Greater London Authority, Transport for London and Ministry of Defence which owns many of the sites he has earmarked for development.
At a recent Talk London forum Mr Johnson was enthusiastic about the idea and described the opening up of disused stations as a "brilliant plan".
He also told Mr Chambers: "My pledge to you is we will do it if it doesn't cost a penny of taxpayers' money."
Watch the videos on this page to learn more about the plans for the Underground stations, and tell us in the comments box below what you think of the scheme.